JUUL intentionally marketed e-cigarettes to teenagers knowing that they were more potent than the average cigarette.

JUUL’s sales force encouraged retailers to stock JUUL e-cigarettes by sharing a chart that showed with 5 minutes, JUUL could deliver 35% more nicotine into the bloodstream than the venerable Pall Mall cigarette.

From Legal Examiner:

“JUUL’s breakthrough “nicotine salts” formula for vaping liquid, now the industry standard, set off an epidemic of e-cigarette use by U.S. Teenagers. Now Investigators want to know if the company targeted young people as customers.” – Reuters

One thing is clear, JUUL executives knew teens were flocking to its breakthrough e-cigarette shortly after it went on sale in 2015. A former JUUL manager admits that its nicotine blend was so potent, engineers devised a kill switch to limit the dosage – but the idea was shelved.

Vincent Latronica headed up sales and distribution for JUUL on the U.S. East Coast from 2014-16. He said the company’s sales force found it difficult to convince reluctant retailers to give them shelf space. That is, until they began showing retailers charts depicting charts on how efficiently JUUL delivered nicotine into the bloodstream. It became a central selling point for its sales force, and, according to Latronica, “everyone wanted it”. The chart showed that within 5 minutes, JUUL could deliver 35% more nicotine into the bloodstream than the venerable Pall Mall cigarette.

In the early years of JUUL, they were seeing 500% annual growth in teen use. Some insiders in the company were uncomfortable with the early signs of teen use throughout their markets. “Company leaders clearly understood the long-term benefit of young users on the bottom line. It was well known that young customers were the most profitable segment in the history of the tobacco industry because research shows that nicotine user who start as teenagers are the most likely to become lifelong addicts”.

In the Spring of 2018, just days before the Food and Drug Administration were to announce a crackdown on youth access to and use of JUUL, JUUL announced a “comprehensive strategy” to curb youth sales. They said, “they were caught off guard” by teenage addiction rates to their product.

That narrative is undermined by two prominent tobacco researchers who told Reuters that they explicitly warned Juul’s founders and a top company scientist about the potential for youth e-cigarette abuse. Neal Benowitz at University of California-San Francisco, said he told Gal Cohen, the company’s director of scientific affairs, that widespread teen use could wreck the company’s business.

“Look, the one thing you have to do is make sure that this doesn’t get into the hands of young people,” Benowitz recalled telling Cohen about a year after the product launch. “If it spreads among kids, this product could be dead.” (Reuters)

What is undeniably clear today is that JUUL tore a page out of the Big Tobacco playbook as it marketed to teens and, as a result, their market share in the U.S. E-cigarette market skyrocketed from just above zero in 2016 to 42.3% in just 24 months.

Explosive growth on the backs of the health of our nation’s teens is not a business plan that should be tolerated.

The newly formed Multidistrict Litigation involving JUUL will be procedurally similar to the MDLs formed in the Municipal Opioid Litigation and the Roundup Cancer litigation that Smith & Johnson is currently involved in. Smith & Johnson is currently interviewing potential Michigan claimants for inclusion in this Federal MDL re: JUUL e-cigarettes. If you have questions about this litigation and what rights you may have, please contact Attorney Tim Smith at (231) 946-0700 for a free consultation.

Taking in the Fall Color by Bike? Know Your Rights and Ride Safely

Many bicyclists take to the roads to enjoy the fall colors and take advantage of the end of the riding season, others jump on their bikes to make their daily commutes. As a rider your safety is important.

To enhance your safety while on a bike we recommend you:

  • wear a helmet,
  • wear brightly colored and/or reflective clothing,
  • make sure to have front and rear lights if you ride at night,
  • do not wear headphones or earbuds while riding.

As you ride please make sure to follow the rules of the road to help create a safe environment for both you and other road users:

  • Go With the Flow. Ride on the right in the same direction as other vehicles.
  • Obey All Traffic Laws. A bicycle is a vehicle and you’re a driver. When you ride in the street, obey all traffic signs, signals, and lane markings.
  • Yield to Traffic When Appropriate. Like when you are driving a car, follow the normal yielding procedure – make sure to remember to also yield to pedestrians.
  • Be Predictable. Ride in a straight line, do not weave in and out of cars. Make sure to signal your moves toothers.
  • Stay Alert at All Times. Use your eyes AND ears.
  • Look Before Turning. When turning left or right, always look behind you for a break in traffic, then signal before making the turn. Watch for left- or right-turning traffic.
  • Watch for Parked Cars. Many bicycle accidents happen when drivers open car doors. Make sure to give parked cars plenty of space and keep an eye on them for any movement (either opening doors or pulling onto the roadway).

As a rider you have rights to the road. If you are riding below the posted speed limit, you are required to ride as close as practically to the right hand curb or the edge of the road (MCL 257.660a). However, it is recognized that there are exceptions or situations where it is unsafe for the rider to hug the fog line. The following are the 5 exceptions that allow a rider to ride to take up more of the road:

  • When passing another bicycle or a vehicle proceeding in the same direction.
  • When preparing to turn left.
  • When conditions make the right hand edge of the roadway unsafe or unreasonably unsafe for bicycle users, including, but not limited to:  Surface hazards (i.e., ruts in the pavement or potholes);  An uneven roadway surface; Drain openings; Debris; Parked or moving vehicles or bicycles; Pedestrians; Animals; Other obstacles; or the lane is too narrow to permit a vehicle to safely overtake and pass a bicycle.
  • When operating a bicycle in a lane in which traffic is turning right, but the cyclist intends to proceed straight through the intersection; and
  • When riding on a one-way highway or street that has two (2) or more lanes. In this situation, the cyclist may also ride as close to the left curb or edge of the roadway as practicable

The 3 foot Rule: In 2018 the Michigan Legislature finally recognized the importance of a rider’s safety and passed a law requiring motorists overtaking bicyclists traveling in the same direction to pass with at least three feet of distance to the left of a bicycle. These three feet create a safer environment for both cars and riders. Even with the implement of the 3 foot rule, increased bike lanes, and heightened awareness of the rights of riders, accidents do happen.

Common injuries that we see occur from bicycle accidents include:

  • Concussions and Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) – helmets reduce your chances of suffering a TBI, but cannot fully protect from moderate to severe TBIs.
  • Broken bones – broken bones can occur as small bone chips to severe breaks.
  • Contusions – contusions/bruises can limit mobility and have a range of healing times.
  • Lacerations – lacerations/cuts can result in blood loss and stitches.
  • Neck and spine injuries – these injuries are common in both care and bicycle accidents and often occur in tandem with TBIs. Neck and spine injuries often occur because of the rapid change of forces that the body is subjected to in a crash.

The number of deaths from bicycle incidents increased 29% over an eight-year period, from 793 in 2010 to 1,024 in 2017, according to Injury Facts®. Of the 1,024 bicyclist deaths in 2017, 679 involved motor vehicles.

If you are involved in a bicycle accident contact Smith & Johnson now, TOLL- FREE at 1-866-946-0700, to schedule your free consultation and protect your legal rights or visit our Personal Injury Cycling Accidents webpage.

With all the news around the Roundup lawsuits and Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, you may be wondering if Roundup really does cause cancer.

In 2019 a study found that there is a “compelling link” that exists between glyphosate exposure and the risk of developing non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. Study researchers were “convinced” about the carcinogenic properties of the chemical.

In March 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans”.

The IARC Monographs evaluation is based on the systematic assembly and review of all publicly available and pertinent studies, by independent experts, free from vested interests. It follows strict scientific criteria, and the classification system is recognized and used as a reference all around the world. This is because IARC evaluations are based on independent scientific review and rigorous criteria and procedures.

To reach these conclusions, IARC reviewed about 1000 studies. Some of the studies looked at people exposed through their jobs, such as farmers. Others were experimental studies on cancer and cancer related effects in experimental systems.

Exposure to the carcinogenic properties of glyphosate prompt DNA change in the human body that can cause normal lymphocytes to become lymphoma cells and develop tumors, thus causing the development of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is cancer that originates in your lymphatic system, the disease-fighting network spread throughout your body. In non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, tumors develop from lymphocytes — a type of white blood cell. – Mayo Clinic

Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma generally involves the presence of cancerous lymphocytes in your lymph nodes. But the disease can also spread to other parts of your lymphatic system.

Multiple juries have found that dangers associated with Roundup exposure include the risk of developing Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. More than 13,000 cancer patients and their families have filed lawsuits against Monsanto alleging that the company knew of the potential dangers associated with glyphosate exposure and failed to warn consumers. Three of the lawsuits have already resulted in large damage awards for injured plaintiffs.

Smith & Johnson, Attorneys, P.C. is now interviewing prospective claimants who have been exposed to Roundup®/glyphosate and have been diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. We currently represent victims throughout Michigan and the United States.

For more information regarding your potential rights as it relates to the Roundup®/glyphosate litigation, please contact, Attorney Timothy P. Smith, at Smith & Johnson, Attorneys to discuss the facts of your particular case (231) 946-0700 or tsmith@smith-johnson.com.

As the dire consequences of vaping become better known, more entities are joining in the fight against JUUL and e-cigarettes.

As reported in the Legal Examiner:

NPR reports: Multiple districts filed lawsuits on Monday, including school systems in Olathe, Kan.; St. Charles, Mo.; Long Island, N.Y.; and La Conner, Wash. Three of those suits charge that Juul has hooked a generation of young smokers with its sweet flavors, placing a burden on schools.

While JUUL claims their e-cigarettes were never marketed to children, Shannon Wickliffe, the president of the Olathe Public Schools Board of Education notes that with flavors like bubblegum and grape, JUUL was obviously marketing to children. Wickliffe states, “I understand it as a business strategy, but I think it’s kind of disgusting that you would try to addict our children knowing the health consequences.”

The consequences of youth using JUUL products, and e-cigarettes are dire, with the first youth vaping death reported in New York on October 4th.  Dr. Brandon Larson, a surgical pathologist at Mayo Clinic, who recently reviewed lung biopsies from 17 patients, has confirmed direct chemical injury to the lungs “similar to what one might see with exposure to toxic chemical fumes, poisonous gases and toxic agents.”

The newly formed Multidistrict Litigation involving JUUL will be procedurally similar to the MDLs formed in the Municipal Opioid Litigation and the Roundup Cancer litigation that Smith & Johnson is currently involved in. Smith & Johnson is currently interviewing potential Michigan claimants for inclusion in this Federal MDL re: JUUL e-cigarettes. If you have questions about this litigation and what rights you may have, please contact Attorney Tim Smith at (231) 946-0700 for a free consultation.

Earlier this fall, on Sept 4th after the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services declared a public health emergency, Governor Whitmer announced an emergency order with plans to ban flavoring in e-cigarettes containing nicotine. Michigan was the first state to announce such a ban. Other states quickly followed suit.

Vape Pens

E-cigarette supplier and retail store owners claimed that they would “suffer irreparable harm under the state’s new ban on flavored e-cigarettes and other products” and took the ban to court. Both plaintiffs have also argued that the ban will force former smokers back to traditional tobacco.

Michigan Court of Claims Judge Cynthia Diane Stephens found the emergency order invalid under the Administrative Procedures Act. Whitmer and Attorney General Dana Nesse vowed to take the issue to the Michigan Supreme Court, and Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the state’s chief medical executive, called the decision “deeply concerning.”

“This decision is wrong,” the governor said in a prepared statement. “It misreads the law and sets a dangerous precedent of a court second-guessing the expert judgment of public health officials dealing with a crisis. The explosive increase in youth vaping is a public health emergency, and we must do everything we can to protect our kids from its harmful effects.”

Bridge Michigan reports:

Vaping rates have surged across the United States and in Michigan schools. Data showed vaping rates rose 30 percent in some Michigan districts and more than doubled in others between the 2015-16 and 2017-18 school years. In December, U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams declared vaping among youth an epidemic.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to investigate some 1,300 0 lung injury cases associated with the use of e-cigarette, or vaping, products throughout the United States, including 26 deaths. Most of the patients reported using e-cigarette products with liquids that contain cannabinoid products, such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

But others have pushed back, saying vaping — though not officially approved as a smoking cessation tool — has helped countless smokers quit smoking, which research suggests is much more harmful.

Smith & Johnson is currently interviewing potential Michigan claimants for inclusion the JUUL e-cigarette litigation. If you have questions about this product and what rights you may have, please contact Attorney Tim Smith at 231.946.0700 for a free consultation.

With hunting season just around the corner, many of us start thinking about deer camp. The Traverse City Record Eagle recently reported on the use of Roundup in Northern Michigan deer camps and the risk to hunters in developing non-Hodgkins lymphoma.. Read their report here.

As Smith & Johnson Attorney Tim Smith recently wrote in the Legal Examiner:

For years, many of us that hunt have engaged in Quality Deer Management or QDMA. Since 1988, the Quality Deer Management Association has worked to promote sustainable, high quality deer populations, wildlife habitats and ethical hunting experiences through research, education, advocacy and hunter recruitment. They encourage protection of the younger bucks, appropriate harvesting of the does in the population and maintaining healthy habitat and food plots on your property.

It is a brilliant approach to managing deer and your property. It’s certainly an approach that my deer camp has adhered to, and we’ve seen the benefits. For years, we’ve planted brassica, oats, clover and buckwheat. It’s a lot of work planting and maintaining those crops and it pays dividends. But up until recently, we didn’t realize that the QDMA approach was going to put our camp at risk of cancer.

When it comes to food plots, the first step recommended by QDMA is to kill all the weeds in the area where you’re going to plant the food plot to attract the deer. Roundup is the product that they have recommended for years. Why? Because it works. From the QDMA website – Commonly referred to by its original trade name Roundup, glyphosate is undoubtably the most commonly used when it comes to planting food plots.

The problem is Roundup and it’s active ingredient glyphosate cause cancer, specifically, non-Hodgkins lymphoma. In the first 3 trials against Monsanto/Bayer as it relates to Roundup causing cancer, all three juries found that Roundup caused the cancer. The evidence and the science clearly supported the connection between exposure to Roundup and cancer.

Tim Smith currently represents a client who’s exposure to Roundup came through prepping food plots at his deer camps. Smith’s is involved in litigation pending nationally against Monsanto/Bayer AG as it relates to their product Roundup.

If you, a friend or family member has been exposed to Roundup and has been diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma, please contact Attorney Tim Smith at 231.946.0700 for a free consultation and click for more information about Smith & Johnson’s Roundup Glyphosate litigation or complete our free case evaluator.

Monsanto Documents Page 3

It has become increasingly clear that Monsanto and their representatives are only concerned by their bottom line and not the health of those affected by their products.

In July of 2013, Moms Across America wrote an open letter to Monsanto asking them to stop using Roundup on the foods they were serving their children.

Monsanto’s response? In emails obtained during the current litigation against Monsanto/Bayer, one Monsanto executive said he wanted to “beat the sh** out of” a mother’s group that was urging the company to stop selling its Roundup Weedkiller.

Monsanto Documents Page 3


From Global Research:

Moms Across America’s letter to then-Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant cited scientific studies linking glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, to cancer. It also decried the company’s marketing of seeds for genetically modified foods:

“We Moms know your Mom would be proud of you if you put the health of the nation first and stopped selling GMO seeds and spraying Glyphosate (Roundup®) and other harsher pesticides,” the letter said.

In the emails, Goldstein wrote that the group was making “a pretty nasty looking set of allegations” and that he had been “arguing for a week to beat the shit out of them.” Using identical scatological language, one of the consultants – Bruce Chassy, then a professor at the University of Illinois – also advocated attacking the moms’ group.

The other consultant – Wayne Parrot, a University of Georgia crop scientist – disagreed: “You can’t beat up mothers, even if they are dumb mothers but you can beat up the organic industry,” which he falsely claimed “paid for and wrote that letter.”

“These ugly emails reveal the utter contempt that Monsanto has for public health and for consumers, including mothers who only want to protect their kids’ health,” said EWG President Ken Cook. “Bayer is reeling from its monumental blunder of buying Monsanto, and these emails should remind them that they acquired the company that gave us DDT, Agent Orange and PCBs.” In the same email exchange, Goldstein noted a surge in public comments to the Environmental Protection Agency on its proposed rule to allow higher levels of glyphosate on supermarket produce. “BTW – a minor tolerance increase petition for glyphosate on specialty crops got 10,821 negative
tter.” public comments in the last 48 hours – NOT form letters – individually written comments,” Goldstein wrote. “We’re on our way to being corporate road kill.”

Smith & Johnson cares about the effects that Roundup has had on you and/or a loved one and currently represents numerous cancer victims throughout Northern Michigan and the U.S. in the pending litigation against Monsanto/Bayer. Users of Roundup that have been diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma may be entitled to compensation through this litigation.

If you, a friend or family member has been exposed to Roundup and has been diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma, please contact Attorney Tim Smith at 231.946.0700 for a free consultation and click for more information about Smith & Johnson’s Roundup Glyphosate litigation or complete our free case evaluator.

“Four years ago, the World Health Organization warned that the herbicide Glyphosate, the main ingredient in weed killer Roundup, causes cancer. Created by chemical giant Monsanto, Roundup is the most widely used weed killer on Earth, sprayed on everything from tiny flower beds to vast fields of crops. Now, in a series of landmark verdicts, juries have confirmed what the World Health organization knew all along”- Roundup causes cancer.

Watch 60 Minutes Australia as they delve into Roundup, its effects, and the legal cases against Monsanto.

Smith and Johnson currently represents individuals throughout Michigan and the U.S. In litigation to hold Monsanto responsible and to make sure individuals harmed by Roundup receive the compensation they deserve.

If you, a friend or family member has been exposed to Roundup and has been diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma, please contact Attorney Tim Smith at 231.946.0700 for a free consultation and click for more information about Smith & Johnson’s Roundup Glyphosate litigation or complete our free case evaluator.

Smith & Johnson is already representing individuals who have developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma as a result of Roundup exposure. We have found that here in Northern Michigan, hunters who enjoy practicing quality deer management and spending time on their properties developing food plots for their hunts, are exposed at a much higher rate than most other individuals here in Michigan. NPR has a report on a California couple who was awarded over $2 billion in a Roundup lawsuit:

The jury in Alameda County, just east of San Francisco, ruled that the couple, Alva and Alberta Pilliod of Livermore, Calif., contracted non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma because of their use of the glyphosate-based herbicide. They were each awarded $1 billion in punitive damages and an additional $55 million in collective compensatory damages.

The verdict represents the third such legal setback for the company in California since mid-2018. In March, a San Francisco jury awarded $80 million to a man who blamed his cancer on his extensive use of Roundup.

…Ken Cook, president of the Environmental Working Group, said: “The cloud hanging over Bayer will only grow bigger and darker, as more juries hear how Monsanto manipulated its own research, colluded with regulators and intimidated scientists to keep secret the cancer risks from glyphosate.”

Four years ago, a United Nations-sponsored scientific agency declared that Roundup probably causes cancer.

If you, a friend or family member has been exposed to Roundup and has been diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma, please contact Attorney Tim Smith at 231.946.0700 for a free consultation and click for more information about Smith & Johnson’s Roundup Glyphosate litigation.